Minimal Perl
For UNIX/Linux People
Tim Maher
Foreword by Dr. Damian Conway
  • October 2006
  • ISBN 9781932394504
  • 504 pages

If you are a Unix/Linux user and wish to learn Perl, I recommend this book.

George Wooley, and

Perl is a complex language that can be difficult to master. Perl advocates boast that "There's More Than One Way To Do It", but do you really want to learn several ways of saying the same thing to a computer?

To make Perl more accessible, Dr. Tim Maher has over the years designed and taught an essential subset of the language that is smaller, yet practical and powerful. With this engaging book you can now benefit from "Minimal Perl", even if all you know about Unix is grep.

You will learn how to write simple Perl commands (many just one-liners) that go far beyond the limitations of Unix utilities, and those of Linux, MacOS/X, etc. And you¹ll acquire the more advanced Perl skills used in scripts by capitalizing on your knowledge of related Shell resources. Sprinkled throughout are many Unix-specific Perl tips.

What's inside

  • A simpler, yet still powerful Perl
  • Development of concise commands and flexible scripts
  • How to package custom software in reusable modules
  • How to exploit CPAN modules to avoid reinventing the wheel
  • Language features in tabular summaries
  • 100+ reusable programs for: system administration, web development (HTML, CGI, Forms), networking, databases, finance, text analysis, and more

About the reader

This book is especially suitable for system administrators, webmasters, and software developers.

About the author

Dr. Tim Maher's multi-decade career as a software professional includes stints at U.C. Berkeley as the Humanities Computer Consultant, at the University of Utah as a Professor of Computer Science, and at AT&T, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard, and Consultix as a Course Developer/Lecturer on operating systems and programming languages. Along the way, he's taught UNIX, Linux, or Perl to many thousands of individuals--ranging from technology-phobic poets to corporate IT engineers. Tim founded Seattle's Perl Users Group, and served as its leader for six years. Many of its 400+ members contributed useful ideas to this book. In his spare time, he enjoys the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, where he lives.

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This book is not perl tapas. It is a survival tool.

William M. Julien, Fortune 100 Company

No-nonsense and practical, yet with wit and charm. A joy to read.

Dan Sanderson, Software Developer

Shows style, not just facts, valuable.

Brian Downs, Lucent Technologies

Brilliant, never tedious, highly recommended!

Jon Allen, Maintainer of

You could have chosen no better primer that this book.

Damian Conway, from the Foreword